This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
FROM WALTER SISULU TO OLIVER TAMBO AND JOE SLOVO
From X to Timo and Kay:
On behalf of my comrades, I would like to thank you for the comm.. As requested, I managed to get those comrades who are based in this town to come together to consider the contents of cde Sipho's report to the NEC. GM also managed to come up and he also participated in the discussion.
The contents of the document, coupled with the fact that the other side seems to have known and accepted that cde S was going to contact the NEC, convinced us that these signals have to be taken seriously. It seemed to us that the main issues to be considered by the movement at this stage are the ff:
1. The creation of a climate of understanding.
2. The establishment of a vehicle to act as an intermediate stage, and
3. A simultaneous declaration by the other side and ourselves.
1. The creation of a Climate of Understanding.
As pointed out in the document, De Klerk is of the view that he has already taken some steps to normalize the political situation. He also feels that we have not reciprocated this. Indeed, the outlook of the movement is that De Klerk has been pushed to take the steps he has taken by the pressure of our all-round struggles. This is a correct statement, politically speaking. To the extent that some of our public pronouncements may be acting as a breaking mechanism as far as De Klerk's professed intentions are concerned, perhaps there may be a need for us to be cautious. However, we feel we have not been that reckless. In the light of these developments, it may indeed be incorrect to mount platforms with a view to scoring points against De Klerk. After all, it has never been the aim of our movement to do so.
2. The Establishment of a Vehicle……….
In a situation where something unequivocal and tangible has been put forward by the other side, the establishment of such a machinery is unavoidable and desirable. Is it not about time that if De Klerk means what he is saying, then he must raise this directly with the movement? Cde S's report seems to indicate that he (Sipho) did intimate this in his encounter with De Klerk. We accept this in principle. However, we leave it to the NEC to determine the form thereof.
3. Simultaneous Declaration…….
Commitment to peace and a peaceful resolution of the SA question has always been the movement's position. The Harare Declaration shows that this commitment is still basic to our position. The OAU declaration does point to the hurdles which successive NP governments have put on the path of a peaceful settlement. If De Klerk feels that this declaration will empower him to clear the environment of these hurdles, there can be nothing wrong with the parties making the declarations simultaneously. For our part, this will not in any way constitute a departure from our principled position. What we said on point 2 above is of relevance here. For if the declaration is to be made simultaneously, it has to be as a result of the two parties having synchronized their positions through direct contact.
In conclusion, we wish to point out that we had very little time within which to discuss these issues. However, our views are as outlined above.
FILE NAME : [S11JAN3]
Pete from Carl
1. We need to be more definitive now about the numerous arrangements we have for contact etc this month. I have to prepare people for specific dates. At the moment people know there are tasks forthcoming but do not know for exactly when and cannot plan their schedules properly.
2. CR and SM will be coming with X and Co. You should take the opportunity to be appraised of the most recent negative developments around Winnie so as to make the necessary intervention. It seems Peter Mokaba is part-source of her re-found arrogance and intransigence.
3. It really is incomprehensible how we can allow the situation to pertain where Peter Mokaba is given the chance to continue his disruptive activities when we have the information we have about him. This is wrong. The man must be exposed and expelled from our ranks. What is more, we are not even briefed about this matter and only happen to pick it up from the ground.
4. Abdul wants to know what to do with Moeti (SARHWU).
FILE NAME : [R19JAN.DEC]
Repeat of Govan arrangements. Sorry delay; was visiting Theo & thus out of range of bleep.
1. ARRANGEMENTS for face-to-face meeting between your representative and our team in Govan:
(a) Car park outside Squash Court in Mbabane Park = Cinema; our person (Connie/Cor) approaches your person (Don/Donna) who is wearing a white top and a blue cap/hat and asks: "Where does one register to join the squash club?" Don: "I wish I knew. I'm more interested in swimming." Intros follow.
(b) Across road leading into Plaza shopping complex, directly opposite entrance to KFC = farmhouse. Our person Ellis/Elsa approaches your person Freddy/Farida, wearing a black top and red cap/hat and asks: "Please show me where the old bus rank is". F/F: "I'm as lost as you in this small town." Intros.
11. ARRANGEMENTS to trigger off their first meeting:
Your person to phone 42111 (MB hospital), between 7.30 and 16.30 hrs from Mondays to Fridays. Ask for Moses Khumalo (Psych Unit) and leave ff message:
- "Tell Tobile that Zandla would like to see her at ________, from Lazarus".
- Use your codes to signal venue.
- Indicate exact time.
- Meeting will be for next day.
NB: We suggest they meet around 18/1/90 at 18.00 hrs.
111. COMMS ARRANGEMENTS between you and our team at Govan's:
The above phone number is only to be used to trigger off the face-to-face meeting. After that use your TV nos. to send and receive messages which will be transferred to and from another set of TV numbers used by the team. When using TV for this purpose clearly indicate that messages are for Govan.
Your person = Mandla
Totsi = Richard
Hour = the same
Postpone = not received
Crossing = spare parts
Danger = breakdown
Not sure if this is relevant but the following were sent on dates indicated:
Fri 12 Jan 1990:
(1) The crossing point for Andy and Francis won't be the same exact spot but will be in that region. The points to reconnoiter closely are:
a) Waverly Border Gate;
b) This is the area that you used;
c) Nsiligwane, on the SA side it's also called Zombodze. This point is + 3 km from the point that you know (b).
Note: You'll remember that we advised you some time ago that we thought there was a security problem with point (b), we've thoroughly checked and re-checked and are satisfied that it's safe.
Sat 13 Jan 1990
Andy and Francis: Andy to arrive at Govan's on 20/1, Francis on 23/1. Actual crossing to take place between 25/1 and 2/2.
FILE NAME : [S21JAN]
From Carl to John/Pete:
1. It is really bad what happened. A comrade is at Govan's desperately trying to make contact and just when I am sending you messages to this effect I get one telling me the meeting was postponed. If the comrade cannot be persuaded to stay at Govan's for a few more days this person-to-person contact will be next to impossible. We cannot send same man back again and we will have to let the new man undergo all the same process of reccie that the other has so as to be on tune at the meet with your persons. This can take long. Now that our man is there make sure that he is seen asap and not on the dates you suggest. What is the real nature of the problem?
2. I think you are aware that the arrival dates of Stevenson coincide with the various other missions including that at Govan's which I must coordinate. Stevenson will have to be asked to be patient if there are delays in contacting them.
3. Some of the things we read in the newspaper are strange indeed – like the reports that we now say armed struggle is impractical. We hope therefore to be briefed asap abut the big meetings that took place this past week. Otherwise we will begin to wonder what the whole point of our exercise is.
FILE NAME: [S30JAN]
For Pete from Carl
1. I have met Jane and will send fuller report later.
2. The exporter simply cannot be going in and out of Govan's because it is dangerous! Since when is consideration no longer given of such obvious security measures? He has worked out pickup spots with Richard and his going back was, according to h, tentative. I decided against it, however.
2.1 It is Richard who must supply the crossing date!
2.2 If the question of the person who must be exfiltrated is causing more complications, it should be put off for another time.
2.3 What's this talk about withdrawing personnel? If there are any hitches on the plan presently they are not as a result of our making this side. We have followed the arrangements to the letter. Just proceed with your side of the bargain.
2.4 The crossing date should be very soon. Several people are on standby for the support and pickup tasks and cannot be on so indefinitely.
3. We are penniless. I have even used remainder of Theo's allocation after getting him a car. I also collected 2,000 from Suzanne. Please prepare to send our allocation for February soonest. We will need more than the usual 10,000.
4. Peter is having hard time finding work. He has only 7 more days remaining in his visa. We will review his situation when he completes interview this Thursday 01/02 with a view to getting an extension on the visa.
5. What Phillip's people are you talking about? The group for training should be completing its course by now! Please stop confusing us.